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As more staff head back to the office, one of the first things waiting for them, along with real-life colleagues, is the chance to boot up their old PCs.
Hardware that might not have been used for 18 months is likely to be upgraded by some users, and that will spark a double opportunity for the channel, both in selling upgraded equipment and disposing of the old technology.
One of the leading lights in the IT asset disposition (ITAD) sector, DSA Connect, has been quizzing customers to get some sense of what will happen as offices reopen.
The firm found that 83% of UK IT directors expected demand for ITAD and data destruction services to increase over the next two years, with a healthy 17% describing the demand as “dramatic” over that period.
One of the market-changing factors picked up by DSA Connect was that the pandemic-driven shift to home working meant workers had been forced to purchase additional equipment for home or adapt existing hardware. As a result, many firms have staff operating with too many devices.
One service the channel will be called on to deliver is data erasure, which is set to be in high demand. Customers will also be looking for help with onsite data destruction and hardware recycling.
Harry Benham, DSA Connect
Harry Benham, chairman of DSA Connect, said the easing of coronavirus restrictions meant customers were getting a chance to look at their hardware and data estates as a whole.
“IT directors are expecting a surge in demand for ITAD, as well as a wide range of other IT disposal services, as business returns to some form of normality with employees back in the office,” he said.
“It is vital that companies approach the disposal of IT, whether it’s destroyed, recycled or the erasure of data, in a thorough and professional manner as mistakes can have serious consequences in terms of potential fines and damage to their reputation,” he added.
The latest research from DSA Connect fits into a picture that the firm started to paint at the start of 2021, but the reopening of offices has given more clarity to the customer investment timetable.
At the start of the year, DSA Connect signalled that ITAM was on the corporate agenda, with research showing that more company directors were becoming concerned about the potential legal issues of not disposing of hardware and data correctly. As a result, 62% of those quizzed by the firm said they expected to spend more money on data erasure and 60% on disposal of hardware, compared with last year.
“Our findings show that many businesses will be making changes to their IT infrastructure in 2021, from buying more hardware for employees who are now working remotely, to upgrading to more secure or cloud-based systems, to making reductions in line with the size of their business and workforce,” said Benham.